Many years ago I took a course in wilderness first aid. The biggest difference I perceived when comparing this type of first aid with others was the overarching mandate to keep people alive. Obviously,  all the first aid I took would lean towards keeping people alive, but considerable time was spent on pain relief and preparing for the ambulance to arrive in basic first aid scenarios. If someone is injured in the wilderness, even seemingly small maladies can become a big problem as the time before professional help arrives becomes extended.

Ideally, if a person is going to get hurt, being in a safe, clean and sanitary environment means the best chance of proper healing with a minimum of long-term damage and scarring. Like wilderness first aid, I would suggest, the church at large, has concentrated on “life-saving” at the cost of the significant role we are called to play in healing, health and restoration.

In Galatians 5:13 we are told to “serve one another in love” and this Sunday  we will explore the balance between compassion and personal holiness as we seek to mirror the perfect way Jesus balanced holy living and compassion for a broken and injured humanity.